Liberal Grace

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bill O'Reilly's bogus war on Christmas

If schlocky mall music and relentless merchandising weren't enough, you now have another thing to loath about this holiday: Bill O'Reilly's "War on Christmas"



If you watch Fox, you know about the supposed "War on Christmas." If not, here's an article about it: What 'War on Christmas'?

I have two points to make about it:

1) There is no war on Christmas.

2) If there were such a war, I wouldn't want Bill O'Reilly fighting it for me.

Conservatives like to imagine themselves under attack because it justifies their aggression. So, they exaggerate or invent attacks. This is especially true for religious conservatives who need to justify their crusade or jihad or other holy war.

The most I will concede Bill O'Reilly is that there is some silliness about de-religifying Christmas -- "Xmas" this or "Holiday" that. But it's not war.

As a liberal, I am generally against governments or corporations making speech-codes. But, I can understand why Walmart would prefer their employees say "Happy Holidays" since the last thing any business wants is to do is irritate their customers.

As a Christian, I wouldn't mind de-nationalizing Christmas. Turning it into a an unofficial holiday like Easter might allow us Christians to wrestle it back from the merchandises. Of course Bill O'Reilly would have a hissy-fit to end all hissy-fits, but that's just a bonus!

A much better system is for businesses to give their employees something like five days off holiday for religions observances to use as they see fit. I imagine that Jews would rather have time off for Yom Kippur than the much less meaningful Hanukkah. Muslims would appreciate the flexible off-time for Eid which can fall any time of the year. Pagans can use it after the solstices to find their clothing ;-). Non-religious people could use it for retreat or family time.

Even with five added days of vacation, American workers would still be behind most developed nations. The average in the EU is 36 days!

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